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March 1, 2013
Over the past seven years, a pipeline between Scotland High School in Laurinburg, N.C., and South Carolina has brought several talented athletes to Columbia.
Defensive linemen Travian Robertson (2007-08, 2010-11) and Byron McKnight (2007-11) and pitcher Parker Bangs (2008-10) starred at Scotland before crossing the border and toiling for USC.
Who is the latest king of Scotland? Legitimate two-way player Curt Britt, one of the top high-school baseball players in North Carolina a year ago (rated the No. 4 prospect in North Carolina by PerfectGameUSA), capable of contributing as a pitcher and hitter.
Last week, Britt made his mound debut for USC, hurling the final four innings against Albany, allowing one run on two hits with three strikeouts to get credit for his first career save. He has also made one trip to the plate.
"That was an incredible highlight for me," Britt said after helping USC beat Albany. "I'm very thankful I got an opportunity. I'm just glad we got the win."
When Britt committed to USC, he was aware of the connection between USC and Scotland High. His father, Tommy Britt, who was his coach at SCHS, also coached Bangs when he played there.
"I know Parker really well because he obviously played for my dad," Britt said. "So, we've always been pretty close. Throughout the recruiting process, he gave me details and information about Columbia."
Britt is also close friends with Robertson, a former standout at defensive tackle for USC and currently a member of the Atlanta Falcons.
"Every time I see Travian he's always talking about Gamecock baseball," Britt said. "Coming up through high school, they were always high on South Carolina. For me, that helped build my confidence. For them to play here and say they loved it, that was a big plus for me."
Britt's solid outing against Albany (54 pitches, 34 strikes) in which he set down the first nine batters he faced certainly earned him another chance on the mound. Will it come this weekend when USC squares off with rival Clemson in a three-game series in three different ballparks?
"Curt Britt was special, for a freshman in his first outing," coach Chad Holbrook said last week after an 8-3 victory over Albany. "That was great to see. Curt was a highly recruited kid. He has a good arm, great makeup and he's the son of a coach, so he was taught the game the right way."
As a senior at Scotland in 2012, Britt was 8-0 with a 0.48 ERA in 56 innings with 70 strikeouts and just eight walks, an amazing strikeout-to-walk ratio of more than 8-to-1. He was named the 2012 North Carolina Baseball Coaches Association Class AAAA Player of the Year and played in the 2011 Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field.
"I love his toughness and his competitiveness," Holbrook said. "He throws strikes, works fast. There are a lot of good things about Curt Britt that he showed (last week). His velocity was good. He's thrown harder, but his velocity was very good. He worked very fast. The tempo of the game picked up when Curt got in there. He was throwing strikes, getting the ball back and throwing another strike. He had a good rhythm going.
"It was certainly good to see him throw like that in his first outing because we're going to need him in the bullpen, for sure."
If you have any questions about this feature or wish to discuss it, please visit The Insiders Forum, Gamecock Central's members-only message board for Gamecock fans.
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